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April 3, 2023 9:01 am

Zionist Advocate Noa Tishby Dismissed as Israel’s Special Envoy on Antisemitism After Criticizing Netanyahu’s Judicial Overhaul


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Noa Tishby. Photo: Provided

Israeli actress and producer turned pro-Israel activist Noa Tishby announced on Sunday that she was fired from her position as Israel’s special envoy for combating antisemitism and the delegitimization of Israel.

Tishby made the announcement in an Instagram post, sharing the news “with disappointment and sadness, but an enduring determination.”

“I am disappointed by their decision but remain steadfast in my commitment to fighting antisemitism and the delegitimization of Israel on the global stage,” added the Tel Aviv native. “It has been an honor to work with incredible partners and organizations dedicated to promoting understanding, tolerance, and respect for Israel and the Jewish people. As an advocate, an artist — and most importantly as an American-Israeli citizen and a Jew—my work will continue in our joint effort to create a brighter future for Israel and the Jewish people. Am Yisrael Chai.

Tishby was appointed by former Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid as Israel’s special envoy for combating antisemitism and the delegitimization of Israel in April 2022. She said in her Instagram post on Sunday that she is unsure if the decision by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to fire her was “driven by my publicly stated concerns about this government’s ‘judicial reform policy,'” but “given the reality that antisemitism continues its dangerous rise globally, and the threat to Israel’s existence through delegitimization policies has not slowed, it is difficult to come to any other reasonable conclusion,” she explained.

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Only a few weeks prior, Tishby was a guest on the March 17 episode of HBO’s talk series Real Time With Bill Maher where she discussed the Israeli government’s plans for a judiciary overhaul, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Tishby criticized Netanyahu’s plans, saying they were “going too far,” and told Maher, “the government wants to take too much power basically and overrule the Supreme Court decision by a simple majority, and the Israeli people are rebelling against this. This is quite amazing what’s happening.” The author — who in 2021 published a book called Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth — added that the protests currently taking place in Israel against the government’s judicial reform are an example of “democracy on full display.”

Netanyahu recently announced a pause on his plans for a judicial reform following mass protests in Israel.

Tishby said on Sunday that she took the position as Israel’s special envoy because “the threat to Jews around the world is as significant today as any other point since the Holocaust, and the risks to Israel are as great today as they have been since our nation’s birth. As an advocate for justice and equality, I felt an obligation to stand with the many others united in the fight against hate.”

“That does not mean I must suppress my views and my decision to speak out was not taken lightly,” she added. “I voiced concerns because I believe absolutely in the importance of an independent judiciary in safeguarding the democratic system. Open and honest debate with those in government is at the core of Israel’s long-term well-being and our status as the region’s single consistent democracy. True patriotism involves standing up for the values and principles that form the foundation of our nation, even when it means questioning or opposing policies implemented by this or any government.”

The Algemeiner reached out to the MFA for a comment following Tishby’s dismissal and its spokesperson, Lior Haiat, simply referred to the Foreign Ministry’s Twitter post on Sunday that said, “We thank Noa Tishby for her activity and wish her much success in the future!” 

Tishby did not respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.

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